Vacation Day #2: We found it!

We woke up hoping for more snow — but it was mostly melted — darn. So we decided to take our car out as far as we could on the jeep trails of the preserve and then do some more hiking.

We were wishing we knew how to get to the beautiful canyon where we had lunch last year, but we had no idea where it was — a Nature Conservancy volunteer had driven us there in a 4 wheel drive truck. We studied and studied the maps but really had no idea. So we just hiked on the jeep trails in the ways that looked the most interesting — I marked the intersections with rock piles so we could find our way back, ha.

The preserve is 32,000 acres so we really thought we had no hope of finding it —

but —

— after a 5 mile or so hike we did!

We almost didn’t believe it at first, but then we found some landmarks — a big burl on a ponderosa pine, and a madrone growing out of an alligator juniper.

How lucky is that?

The stream was frozen — no dipping our feet in this time! But our hearts were warm with the memories.

Here are some more images I wanted to share from the hike.

Mt. Livermore, the 4th highest summit in Texas at 8,383 feet. Someday I’d like to climb up there!

A beautiful mountain meadow — we saw several of these on the hike. The Conservancy has been doing prescribed burns when it can, and the grasses are looking really good.

This area had been burned twice since 1997 and was loaded with sideoats and other gramas, silver bluestem, and more. So nice.

After we got back to the cabin we had a feast! It was Christmas Eve and we were leaving the next day — and this was my last chance with an oven. We got another fire going in the woodstove, put on Doug Smith’s Christmas Guitar, and had a great time.

Our feast consisted of organic spring greens, almond rice, Quorn roast, corn, tea, and Holly Nog. We were accompanied by Hoops and Yoyo — a gift from my sister — thanks Chris! — and a candle that Agnes gave me for my birthday — thanks Agnes!